The Cheltenham Festival is upon us and the battle to beat the bookmakers is already in full swing. An estimated £600 million is expected to be staked during the four-day meeting which runs from March 10th to 13th. National Hunt fans have been anxiously following events during the on-going coronavirus outbreak. There has been speculation that a ban on major sporting events could be imposed but the meeting looks set to be given the all-clear.
Several horses have already attracted plenty of support including household names like Tiger Roll (Cross Country Chase) and Altior (Champion Chase). The bookmakers are also wary of well-backed novice hurdlers Shishkin (Supreme Novices’ Hurdle) and Envoi Allen (Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle). Paisley Park (Stayers’ Hurdle) is likely to start the shortest priced favourite of the week.
For your race-by-race guide to the meeting we recommend Cheltenham tips as suggested by OLBG.com’s racing tipsters. The site provides in-depth analysis, statistics and Cheltenham pointers for every race. We have been thumbing through the form book in search of some value bets and narrowed the list down to five horses who should give you a good run for your money!
Silver Streak (Champion Hurdle) 25-1
The Champion Hurdle looks wide open this season and there could be some each-way value in Silver Streak. The grey is trained in Wales by Evan Williams and finished a creditable third last year. He has been trained with this race in mind all season and was five lengths behind current favourite Epatante at Kempton last time. That horse has since suffered a scare over a bout of coughing and this track will suit Silver Streak much better.
Dynamite Dollars (Champion Chase) 20-1
The Queen Mother Champion Chase is being billed as a three-horse race. Defending champion Altior faces rising stars Defi Du Seuil and Chacun Pour Soi. One horse that we feel has been overlooked in the build-up is Dynamite Dollars, trained by Paul Nicholls. He was a brilliant novice and came back from a lengthy absence to finish third to Altior at Newbury. He looks certain to improve and could shake up the big three at long odds.
Penhill (Stayers’ Hurdle) 14-1
With Paisley Park now odds-on favourite for the Stayers’ Hurdle, there is some great value in 2018 winner Penhill. Willie Mullins trains the nine-year-old who is one of the few runners in the race who has proven form over course and distance. He has been brought along steadily this season with three placed runs in Ireland and will go on any ground.
Ramses De Teillee (Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle) 12-1
Ramses De Teillee is still entered in the Aintree Grand National but is making a name for himself over hurdles this season. The Albert Bartlett is a gruelling three mile race for novices and David Pipe’s grey will relish the challenge. The opposition does not look exceptional on paper and he certainly looks capable of reaching the frame if the going stays soft.
Presenting Percy (Cheltenham Gold Cup) 11-1
Presenting Percy started Gold Cup favourite last year but finished lame. He had only one prep run over hurdles last season but has been campaigned more aggressively this time. He caught the eye when leading two out in the Irish Gold Cup before finishing third to Delta Work and Kemboy. Davy Russell usually rides him with more patience and he could be one of the last to play his hand at Cheltenham.